No threat to Nawaz govt: Rehman Malik

Says military takeover out of question; Qadri landed in Lahore after a deal; Imran, Qadri alliance not possible; political temperature to cool down soon; PAT chief visits Pakistan for oranges and mangoes

Tahir Khalil, Asim , Yasin & Atif Sherazi
Monday, July 07, 2014

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In a wide-ranging panel interview with The News/Jang, former interior minister Rehman Malik spoke on political issues that confront the nation which could either be political or long marches of Dr Tahirul Qadri or Imran Khan. He also spoke about the past how he handled the long march of Nawaz Sharif for the restoration of former chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.

He also revealed the deal that was struck to make the air landing of Dr Tahirul Qadri at Lahore Airport instead of Islamabad Airport.Rehman Malik in his wide-ranging interview with the Jang Group also ruled any chances of alliance between Dr Tahirul Qadri and Imran Khan saying that both will never opt for alliance as both were not ready to work under each other.

He also shared the information about the rigging in the May 11 general elections with questioning on catching of three trucks full of ballot paper in Rahim Yar Khan and Quetta.He even did not see any impact of Imran Khan announced long march on Islamabad.Senator Rehman Malik described the tsunami of Imran Khan and marches of Dr Tahirul Qadri ‘seasonal marches’.

He said that the revaluations of Dr Tahirul Qadri always came in the winter when the season of oranges was on peak and in summer when mango hit the markets. “It seems that Dr Tahirul Qadri visits Pakistan only for oranges and mangoes,” he observed.

He revealed that there was a deal behind the landing of Dr Tahirul Qadri at Lahore Airport instead of Islamabad airport and he had revealed in a social media 8 hours before Dr Tahirul Qadri’s arrival that plane of Dr Tahirul Qadri would land in Lahore instead of Islamabad. “The arrival of Punjab governor at the airport to bring out Dr Tahirul Qadri from the plane was a part of the deal,” he added.

He questioned if the flight was diverted to Lahore, why Dr Tahirul Qadri did not take the next flight to Islamabad or came to Islamabad by road. “Dr Tahirul Qadri’s revolutions are not meant to be revolutions. They are only seasonal visits to the country only to enjoy the delectable fruits which Allah has granted us bountifully.”

Rehman Malik forecast that hot political temperatures would cool down. He believed that every thing came back to normal with the passage of time.Speaking tsunami politics and marches of Imran Khan, he advised him to change the slogan of tsunami as tsunami is a symbol of death and destruction which brings only devastation. It would be better to choose another propitious name for his movement.

He said the current political polarisation was defusing as both Dr Tahirul Qadri and Imran Khan claimed to be the biggest leaders and far superior to the other in any consideration. Against such a background it was difficult for them to unite. “Both are not ready to work under each other as both have personality clash and lack the understanding which is needed for making an alliance,” he added.

He argued when Dr Tahirul Qadri arrived in Pakistan, no one from PTI workers was present at the airport only Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed and Chauhdry brothers — Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Chaudhry Pervez Elahi — were seen to receive him at the airport. “Now the situation has changed and the political heat is cooling down,” he said.

Replying to a question, Rehman Malik said he did not give any orders in his tenure as interior minister for probing money laundering against Dr Tahirul Qadri saying that he did not give any such order so he at the moment did not know about the involvement of Dr Tahirul Qadri in the money laundering.

However, he said he did get some information about the funding, which were given to him by some of the family members of Dr Tahirul Qadri and some receipts about the funding were also presented to him.

To a question about the role of former Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General (R) Ashfaq Parvez Kayani in the restoration of former chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Senator Rehman Malik denied the role of Kayani in the this regard. “The restoration was made by the civilian government of the PPP on my proposal,” he said.

Revealing the facts of the restoration of former chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Rehman Malik said that there was information of suicide attack on the long march of Nawaz Sharif and even on that day there was a suicide attack in Rawalpindi at Pirwadahi while another possible suicide attacker was also arrested from there.

He said when Nawaz Sharif leading the long march reached Muridke, at that time there was a meeting being held at his residence in Islamabad where the officials of the law enforcement agencies were also present and he went to second floor to bring some files. All of a sudden an idea clicked his mind as to why not restore the chief justice to control the situation. “As the idea clicked my mind, I made a telephonic contact with then Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani and told him the whole security situation as well as the possible suicide attack on Nawaz Sharif’s caravan and requested him that it was better to restore the chief justice to avoid the possible killing of people in any suicide attack.”

He said the prime minister asked him to take up this issue with President Asif Ali Zardari and at about 12.30am he contacted President Zardari and informed him about the security situation while proposing the restoration of the chief justice.

He said President Zardari told him that chief justice would be restored on the retirement of Justice Dogar. “I insisted for the announcement of restoration of chief justice and on which President Zardari said the announcement would be made in the afternoon. On which I said when the decision be made, there will be no harm to make the announcement now and President Zardari agreed with me.”

He said on his proposal a telephone call was made to then Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez kayani through military Secretary of President Zardari as in his view if the announcement of restoration of chief justice be made then Nawaz Sharif would come to Islamabad. Therefore it was decided to give a message through COAS to Nawaz Sharif about the restoration.

He said General Kayani who reached the Presidency through helicopter, conveyed the restoration of chief justice to Aitzaz Ahsen.He said the restoration of the chief justice was made on his proposal but propaganda was made that it was result of force of anyone else.

He said, “It was purely a decision of civilian government on his proposal and he had a leading role in the restoration of chief Justice. The role of General Kayani was positive one in this episode and I could challenge any one to prove him wrong as the agencies have all the record. I am first sharing it for the first time with the Jang group,” he added.

He said around 2.30pm midnight decision was made and all the legal work done by then Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani and Farooq H Naek.In reply to a question he said, “The government had some problems due to some institutions but the issue of governance is also present.

He said during the tenure of the PPP a huge number of suo moto notices were taken which is part of record. “Every time we faced suo moto notices for which our government was not responsible but we had to face the music anyway. We faced all the notices with tolerance and if the present government also follows tolerance, it would be able to face the issues politically.”

Asked whether the long marches might bring the ousters of the democratic government, he did not agree with the impact of marches for the ouster of the democratic government.However, he said it was only possible when the establishment and long marchers were united as then the target was on line. “But there is no chances of take over now and even during the tenure of General Kayani no such decision was ever made,” he added

He was of the opinion that the long march would be stopped due to current situation in the country.

On the issue of Taliban, Senator Rehman Malik said he was continuously saying that there is no benefit in dialogue with Taliban as the negotiation should never be made with ‘Zaliman.’

He said no good Taliban or bad Taliban existed as there are some Talibans who picked the guns while the others are without gun. “The Taliban from Fata have picked up guns while the Taliban in the settled areas are without gun so I give a warning that if the Taliban without guns joined the Taliban with gun then it could be dangerous,” he added.

He said when he named Laskhar-e-Jhangvi and Punjabi Taliban then the allegations were against him that he was creating division. “But now the whole nation has seen the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and Punjabi Taliban,” he added.

Senator Rehman Malik said every Taliban is not terrorist as he always described the terrorists as ‘Zaliman”. ‘Taliban is a plural of Talib which means ‘a student’ and there is no crime to be a Talib but it certainly is a crime being Zaliman,” he observed.

On the rigging in General elections of 2013, Senator Rehman Malik said the PPP accepted the results conditionally as the rigging took place in the general election.He said it was for the first time that the ballot papers were printed through private printers rather than Pakistan Printing Press and even no tenders were floated for the ballot papers and the ballot papers were printed without tendering.

The former Interior Minister claimed that one truck of ballot papers was caught from Rahim Yar Khan, while another from Quetta.Rehman Malik advised the Nawaz Sharif government to launch a probe against the rigging in the elections as elections were conducted by the caretaker government not by the Nawaz sharif government. “The government can become hero if it launches the probe in the rigging as the elections were conducted by the caretaker government and not by Nawaz Sharif government,” he added.

The former interior minister supported the Operation Zarb-e-Azb saying that it was right step and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif should convene an All Parties Conference (APC) to give briefing to political parties and to devise the joint strategy for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

He said it was his message to the nation to stand united with the armed forces to fight against the enemies of the country to follow the principles of Qauid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah of: “Unity, Faith and Discipline.”

Senator Rehman who served the country for more than 40 years as a bureaucrat, politician and a federal minister planned to write two books to share his experiences. “I had planned first book will be published in my life and second will be published after my death and all the royalty of these books will be given to poor segment of society,” he added.He said the publishers from the United States and the United Kingdom had approached him for publishing of books.

Source: The News

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